Academic Catalog

Public Relations (B.A.)

Students electing this major typically seek employment in one of the many career opportunities in public relations: business and industry; non-profit organizations; trade associations; government service; education; or account executive positions in an agency. Some students later pursue graduate-level study in fields such as organizational communication.  The Public Relations program at Wayne State is one of two programs in Michigan accredited by The Public Relations Society of America.

In addition to the course work below, students must complete all of the department's general degree requirements.

The major in Public Relations requires completion of a minimum of forty-two credits in coursework as outlined below.

Core Courses
All of the following are required
COM 1500Survey of Mass Communication3
COM 2030Journalistic Grammar and Style3
COM 2100News Reporting3
COM 2170Persuasive Speaking3
or COM 3300 Business and Professional Presentations
COM 3170Fundamentals of Public Relations3
COM 3210News Editing3
COM 3250Introduction to Organizational Communication3
COM 3400Theories of Communication3
COM 4130Communication Ethics3
COM 4170Public Relations Writing3
COM 4210Research Methods in Communication3
COM 5160Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management 13
COM 5130Communication and Social Marketing3
Select one of the following:3
Public Relations and Social Media
Layout and Design
Journalism and New Media

COM 5160 is the senior level capstone course. To be taken in last twenty-one credits of study

Recommended electives include:COM 2200 Interpersonal CommunicationCOM 2260 Digital Writing and Research MethodsCOM 2290 Fundamentals of New Media CommunicationCOM 6190 Internship, as well as courses in Journalism (COM 4100 Feature Writing). An advisor should be consulted early in the student’s program. Direct inquiries to 585 Manoogian Hall (313-577- 2946).

Departmental Honors Program

The Communication Department Honors program offers capable students the opportunity to pursue independent study and to  work closely with department faculty members. Completion of the honors major results in an honors degree designation on the diploma.

In order to enter the departmental honors program students must have achieved academic excellence in previous work, such as a high school g.p.a. of 3.5 or a college or university g.p.a. of 3.3. Students must meet all regular major requirements including the following: three honors-option courses within their major at the 2000 level or above, taught by full-time faculty members (internships cannot satisfy this requirement), at least one HON 42xx-level seminar offered through the Honors College, a senior honors thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor in their major area (COM 4996) and maintain a minimum g.p.a. of 3.3 cumulative and in the major.

Departmental AGRADE Program

The AGRADE program enables highly qualified seniors majoring in Communication Studies or Public Relations to enroll simultaneously in undergraduate and graduate programs and to apply a maximum of 15 credits toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. The program encourages such students to continue to graduate school at Wayne State by reducing the time to the master's degree. Only AGRADE-approved courses in which the student has earned a B or higher will transfer to the graduate transcript. Once in the master's program, students may be required to repeat an AGRADE course in which they earn less than a B grade. 

Eligibility: AGRADE applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.5. Applicants are also expected to have performed at a superior level in their major, as determined by the major department and reflected in a GPA in the major of at least 3.6 at the time of application.

Application: A student seeking AGRADE status should present to the Department of Communication Graduate Committee all of the materials which that department requires for normal admission to the M.A. program with a concentration in Communication Studies. Specific departmental admission requirements can be found in this bulletin or obtained from the Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communication (313-577-2959).

The earliest date by which a student may apply for the AGRADE program is during the semester in which he/she completes 90 credits toward the undergraduate degree.

AGRADE Credits: Students may elect a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 AGRADE credits. These credits will be used to complete the baccalaureate degree as well as to serve as the beginning of graduate study. Upon formal admission to a master’s program, AGRADE credits are transferred as if they were graduate credits transferred from a graduate program at another university. The remaining graduate credits required for the master's degree will be earned in the conventional manner following formal admission to the graduate program. Formal admission to the graduate program occurs as AGRADE students complete their baccalaureate degree.

Students admitted into an AGRADE program will develop a Plan of Work for the master's program, specifying the courses that will be taken in the AGRADE status as well as the courses required for the balance of the undergraduate degree. Note that COM 7000 must be taken in the first semester of AGRADE coursework . The remaining AGRADE courses must be approved by both the student's undergraduate program advisor and the graduate director of the master's program. In courses permitting both undergraduate and graduate students to enroll, AGRADE students will be held to the graduate standard.

For more details about the AGRADE program, contact the Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communication (313-577-2959)

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